Colin Kaepernick, the Texas GOP's latest obsession.
Colin Kaepernick, the Texas GOP's latest obsession.
Mike Morbeck

Texas GOP Is Trying to Ride Colin Kaepernick and Nike Opposition to Midterm Victory

Ahead of November's election, Texas Republicans have apparently found the hill on which they are willing to die.

Late Thursday, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who's campaigning by flying around in a private jet and speaking in front of local TV cameras at airports, made his newest push for re-election, flogging Nike and and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a new radio spot and a social media campaign that encourages Republicans to boycott the company.

“It is shocking that a company the size of Nike doesn’t understand that refusing to stand for the national anthem is offensive to the majority of Americans, particularly those in uniform, who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our security and freedom," Patrick said in a press release.

“People have the right to protest and they have the right to hate our country – but they don’t have the right to do it when they are on their job. The NFL should have taken a bold stand on this, but they fumbled it badly and now Nike is piling on.

“When it comes to Nike, my new slogan is 'Just Don’t Do It.'”

Guess it beats talking about what Texas Republicans are trying to do with health care, at least.

Setting aside the obvious smear that Kaepernick or any of the other players who've protested during the anthem  to draw attention to police brutality and inequality "hate our country," Patrick has apparently been feeding at the same trough as Ted Cruz and the Texas Republican Party.

After Beto O'Rourke, the U.S. representative challenging Cruz, drew national attention for his defense of NFL players right to demonstrate, Cruz and the Texas Republican party pounced, blasting O'Rourke for being out of step with Texas and tying him, remarkably, to former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who tweeted in support of Kaepernick earlier this week. 

Cruz also accused O'Rourke of supporting flag-burning in a video that, in the words of The Dallas Morning News "hinges on heavy splicing and a creative interpretation of a long-winded comment." We know the Morning News is a liberal rag, but those are strong words nonetheless.  

Since Cruz and the Texas GOP began attacking O'Rourke in earnest a couple of weeks ago, they've maligned the El Paso rep for being in a band, knowing how to skateboard and saying "fuck" too frequently on the campaign trail, in addition to trying as hard as they can to mimic President Donald Trump's campaign against the NFL. This was during the week after Labor Day, the top of the stretch for political campaigns. It's only going to get dumber from here. 

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